On any given day, when you walk into Little Professor, you are likely to be greeted by the smiling face of our new General Manager, Mary Laura. 

We welcomed Mary Laura to our team in February, and she became our GM in August! She has quickly become an integral part of our growth. Mary Laura brings a passionate love of people and of reading into her role with Little Professor.


Little Professor is the oldest independent bookstore in Alabama. The honoring of this history, combined with the store’s adaptation to a tech-enabled world, is something that Mary Laura finds unique and special. Helping to manage this technological shift, while maintaining an intimate customer experience, is central to her work. 

Even though 2020 expedited and changed many of these goals and technology needs, Mary Laura had this to say about her time at Little Professor thus far: 

“It's been an incredibly fun and life-giving opportunity.  I love being in the store, I love talking to people about books and life--be it real life or the lives within the books we've read.  And I'm still surprised at how the Lord worked out all of those details to bring me to LP.  I'm extremely grateful and do not take lightly what a gift it is to love what I do every day.”

No matter where she is - the store, the grocery, or in her home - Mary Laura wants everyone to be seen, welcomed, and valued. Because of this, one of her favorite parts of her role is interacting with our amazing customers and building relationships across the LP community. Mary Laura and the rest of our team are so grateful for our customers and always thinking about how to better serve them:

Our customers really are the best and have been so patient and gracious as we are working to improve the customer experience and make getting the books they need a seamless process. “

Her love of reading is another pillar in her work. As an avid reader, Mary Laura knows the value that reading can have in her own life and tries to further that experience for others. While she gravitates towards fiction, you can find her with all genres: sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, thrillers, and chick lit. Intense or light, heavy or fun, she will read it all. For her, reading and its inherent learning plays several roles:

I had so many magical reading moments when I was a child--books with characters I love to this day and cannot wait to meet again with my own children…. Books can be a really special way to not only escape for a bit, but also to learn new perspectives and grow in understanding of people and their experiences…. I think it's important, mentally, to have that balance. I also think it's important working at LP to be able to recommend novels from both ends of that spectrum.

Mary Laura also wants people to know that a love of reading can be developed at any age. If you’re 55 and still don’t like reading, let us help you find the right books!

Thank you, Mary Laura, for all that you do for Little Professor!

If you want to see what books Mary Laura recommends, check out her curated list here.

October 06, 2020 — Jonathan Robinson